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Pulitzer Prize: 2021 Winners List

Pulitzer Prize: 2021 Winners List


From reporting on the coronavirus pandemic to an investigation of China’s internment of Uyghurs, here’s the full list of winners and finalists.

The Pulitzer committee honored The New York Times with the prestigious public service award for its “prescient and sweeping” coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for filling “a data vacuum that helped local governments, health care providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected.” Read the coverage here.

Finalists ProPublica; The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.


The Star Tribune won the award for its “authoritative and nuanced” coverage of the murder of George Floyd.

Finalists Staff of The Courier-Journal, of Louisville, Ky.; Helen Branswell, Andrew Joseph and the late Sharon Begley of STAT, Boston


The Boston Globe won the investigative reporting award for its extensive coverage of dangerous truck drivers and the failure of state governments to keep them off the road.

Finalists Dake Kang and the staff of The Associated Press; Margie Mason and Robin McDowell of The Associated Press


The Pulitzer committee honored a team of Reuters reporters for their coverage of an arcane legal doctrine that “shields police who use excessive force from prosecution.” Ed Yong, a science reporter for The Atlantic, won the award for his coverage of the pandemic.

Finalists Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News


Kathleen McGrory, Neil Bedi and their colleagues watch as the prizes are announced.
Kathleen McGrory, Neil Bedi and their colleagues watch as the prizes are announced.Credit…Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times


The committee recognized an exposé of a powerful sheriff in Florida, Chris Nocco, who harassed residents and used private child welfare records and academic grades to profile schoolchildren as potential criminals, effectively terrorizing members of his community.

Finalists Jack Dolan and Brittny Mejia of The Los Angeles Times; Staff of The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C.


A yearlong investigation revealed a pattern of disturbing attacks by police K-9 units across the country, including incidents in which innocent civilians were injured or, in at least one case, killed.

Finalists Staff of The New York Times; Staff of The Wall Street Journal


Using satellite imagery, the reporters revealed a vast infrastructure of prisons and mass internment camps secretly built by China to detain thousands of persecuted Muslim minorities.

Finalists BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Staff of The New York Times; Staff of The Wall Street Journal


Ms. Drost, a freelance contributor, wrote a “brave and gripping account” of the journey migrants take through the Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama, and Mr. Jackson wrote a “deeply affecting account” of the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Finalists Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post


For “penetrating and historically insightful columns” that helped to guide Richmond’s process of dismantling monuments to Confederate leaders during the Civil War.

Finalists Roy S. Johnson of the Alabama Media Group; Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City Star

Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times.
Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times.Credit…Chad Batka for The New York Times


For “unrelentingly relevant and deeply engaged criticism” with a set of essays that explored the intersection of race and pop culture with insight, acuity and urgency. Read the essays here.

Finalists Mark Swed of The Los Angeles Times; Craig Jenkins of New York Magazine


Mr. Greene’s editorials examined the nuances of a variety of topics relating to the criminal justice system.

Finalists Lee Hockstader of The Washington Post; Alan Wirzbicki and Rachelle G. Cohen of The Boston Globe


Finalists Ken Fisher, drawing as Ruben Bolling, for “Tom the Dancing Bug,” Andrews McMeel Syndicate; Lalo Alcaraz of Andrews McMeel Syndicate; Marty Two Bulls Sr.


The photo staff of The A.P. was honored for its coverage across U.S. cities that captured the nationwide response to the murder of George Floyd.

Finalists Hassan Ammar, Hussein Malla and Felipe Dana of The Associated Press; Joshua Irwandi, a freelance photographer for National Geographic


Mr. Morenatti’s series documented the lives of Spanish elderly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finalists Staff of Getty Images; Tyler Hicks of The New York Times


The National Public Radio headquarters in Washington.
The National Public Radio headquarters in Washington.Credit…Ting Shen for The New York Times


The podcast “No Compromise” examined a group of American right-wing activists with extreme pro-gun views and a growing following on social media.

Finalists Staff of National Public Radio; Staffs of the Invisible Institute of Chicago, The Intercept and Topic Studios


Ms. Frazier, the young woman who took out her cellphone to record the killing of George Floyd, was recognized for the video that spurred a global reckoning with police brutality.


This entry in the ongoing Chippewa chronicles is set in the 1950s, its title character inspired by Ms. Erdrich’s grandfather and the letters he sent to politicians in Washington in an effort to save his tribe.

Finalists “A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth,” by Daniel Mason; “Telephone,” by Percival Everett


“Franchise” connects McDonald’s with the civil rights movement, telling the history of the increasingly intricate ties between the fast-food behemoth and Black communities.

Finalists “The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America,” by Eric Cervini; “The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West,” by Megan Kate Nelson


This poetic biography, completed by Les Payne’s daughter and principal researcher, Tamara Payne, after his death in 2018, reconstructs the conditions and key moments of Malcolm X’s life, using hundreds of original interviews with his family, friends, colleagues and adversaries.

Finalists “Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath,” by Heather Clark; “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World,” by Amy Stanley


The New York Times Book Review called this collection, which showcases Ms. Diaz’s gift for musicality and imagery and centers the experiences of queer women of color, “no doubt one of the most important poetry releases in years.”

Finalists “A Treatise on Stars,” by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge; “In the Lateness of the World,” by Carolyn Forché


The book details the forgotten history of a coup against an elected multiracial government in North Carolina, tracing efforts by white supremacists to establish white rule in Wilmington while cinematically detailing the bloody assault on Black residents of the town.

Finalists “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning,” by Cathy Park Hong; “Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country,” by Sierra Crane Murdoch

Korey Jackson, Nicco Annan, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Sheldon Best and Cecil Blutcher in the play "The Hot Wing King."
Korey Jackson, Nicco Annan, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Sheldon Best and Cecil Blutcher in the play “The Hot Wing King.”Credit…Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


In this work about a quest to make award-winning chicken wings, Ms. Hall, 40, challenged conventional definitions of manhood and fatherhood in Black America. Read more about Ms. Hall here.

Finalists “Circle Jerk” by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley; “Stew” by Zora Howard


This understated, hauntingly inconclusive work for orchestra was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in February 2020 in honor of the 19th Amendment, which extended the vote to women. The courage of Susan B. Anthony and Ms. León’s progressive grandmother inspired music of wild energy, with an ominous undercurrent. Read more about Ms. León here.

Finalists “Place” by Ted Hearne; “Data Lords” by Maria Schneider

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